A CAMPAIGN to rescue greyhounds, or galgos, used by Spanish hunters is being led by a French charitable group.
Here volunteer Beryl Brennan writes about the terrible treatment the greyhounds receive, they are often destroyed or abandoned at the end of the season, and how the group l'Europe Des Lévriers travels thousands of miles across the border to rescue and rehome as many dogs as it can.
Watch where you walk in the Spanish countryside, especially after hunting finishes at the end of January. You might come across dogs hanging from trees (it can take a dog a week to die by this method), burned alive, dying from broken legs, mutilated.
Chances are they will be galgos, Spanish greyhounds, which the galguerros (Spanish hunters) treat like any hunting tool, shut in a shed when not in use, and then disposed of in the most horrendous ways when no longer required.
Estimates by various greyhound charities say about 50,000 dogs are killed each year, thousands of them in Spain. Sometimes a galguerro can have up to 90 dogs. 130 were killed just a couple of weekends ago.
L’Europe des Levriers (EDL) is a French association set up in August 2006 with two aims; firstly to put pressure on the Spanish government to ban hunting with galgos, and secondly to rescue as many galgos as possible and rehome them in France.
Beatrice Monnet is EDL President, and she had already been involved in this work with other organisations. It’s been known for galguerros to go back into the refuges and steal galgos, so there’s at least one rescue a month, and it depends on what transport is available – usually private cars and vans – as to how many are brought out each time.
I recently took part in a rescue, meeting up with the team at the border in Bayonne, to drive to a refuge 200 km south of Madrid.
It was a round trip of over 3,300 km in five days and we brought back 21 galgos, most of which had new homes waiting for them. A couple were still traumatised from their treatment by the galguerros, so they were homed with volunteers to continue rehabilitation.
The experience left me physically, mentally and emotionally drained.
The dogs all have a ‘passport’ before leaving the refuges. They are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and blood tested. Permanent homes are found generally through the EDL website, although some go to foster homes before finding a family.
I am currently fostering two. So far this year Beatrice has rehomed over 200 galgos, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. For every dog saved, 100 die.
The association is desperately short of funds, they rely mainly on EDL membership and donations.
There’s a fundraising Christmas buffet bunch (contact Sue Hulme for details) on December 2 at Refannes, near Parthenay (79); Beatrice is arranging another rescue that weekend, so she will be there to talk about her work and introduce the dogs.
We need as many people as possible to come to make the event a success. These gentle, affectionate dogs do not deserve such a horrendous death. Please help.
Website: l'Europe Des Lévriers
For further details about how you can help rehome a rescued greyhound contact Beryl Brennan.
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Posted by: tipllub | 22 November 2007 at 16:32